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Fewer suicides after antidepressive treatment for schizophrenia
Date:5/8/2012

riod of weeks or months and in consultation with a doctor."

"The temporary acute use of benzodiazepines is justifiable if the patient is suffering a great deal of anxiety," he continues. "But benzodiazepines should be discontinued within a month according to psychiatric recommendations, which doctors must start following and respecting."

During the periods the participants took antidepressive drugs, they ran a 43 per cent lower mortality risk than during the periods when these drugs were not used. Antipsychotics had no effect on mortality if the patients were on multiple prescriptions simultaneously.

"People think that it's dangerous to treat patients with schizophrenia with more than one antipsychotic drug, but there is nothing to back that up, says Professor Tiihonen. "I believe that most doctors prescribe several antipsychotics if their patients are not helped by just one kind, and our study finds no link between this and increased mortality during a four year follow-up. But it does mean more adverse effects, such as the risk of weight-gain, which also impacts the health in the long run, so the recommended attitude is still one of restraint."


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Contact: Press Officer Katarina Sternudd
katarina.sternudd@ki.se
46-852-483-895
Karolinska Institutet
Source:Eurekalert

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